Ames Research. They sell various rubber compounds which can be used for waterproofing, and are applied in liquid form. Their Super Elasto-Barrier dries to a pretty much untearable sheet of gray rubber, around 2mm thick. It’s usually used for waterproofing flat roofs. I figured if it was up to that task, it would probably cope with any rain that blew onto the deck and dripped through the gaps between the planks. As an added bonus, it’s water-based, so we didn’t have to worry about lots of noxious volatile chemicals harming the parakeets.
So, the treated plywood was coated with rubber; then some spacer joists were fixed to it; then the whole lot was given several more coats of rubber. The result is a flat, ribbed, rubber-sealed surface that slopes gently towards gaps at the front of the house, and drains away any water that falls through the upper deck.
I had also checked Consumer Reports and a few other sites to find out what would be appropriate for paint. Valspar and Behr got good reviews from CR after the equivalent of 9 years of exposure. There seemed to be a lot of people online with assorted grievances about Home Depot and Behr, so we went with Valspar and bought it from Lowe’s.
I’m completely happy with the end result. It looks much nicer than PVC, restores the original look of the house, and the steps are more comfortable to climb now.
The story isn’t over yet, though. Stay tuned for part two. © mathew 2017
© mathew 2017